After the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine on Tuesday, Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya accused Moscow of detonating “a bomb of mass environmental destruction” leading to major and avoidable flooding.

Kyslytsya spoke of an “act of ecological and technological terrorism” at the meeting in New York. The blast was “yet another example of Russia’s genocide against Ukrainians,” he said. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, on the other hand, said the incident was a “deliberate sabotage undertaken by Kyiv” and should be “classified as a war crime or an act of terrorism.” The dam had been used for an “unthinkable crime,” he said.

Kyslytsya in response argued that the dam was in Russian control and out of Ukrainian reach, saying it was “physically impossible” to have caused the damage with shelling and that Russia had mined it. Meanwhile, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council that the dam breach “will have grave and far-reaching consequences for thousands of people in southern Ukraine on both sides of the front line through the loss of homes, food, safe water and livelihoods.”

“The sheer magnitude of the catastrophe will only become fully realized in the coming days,” he said. Moscow-installed authorities have imposed a state of emergency in the Russian-annexed part of the region. Ukrainian officials estimated about 42,000 people were at risk from the flooding, which is expected to peak on Wednesday.


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